Marcus Tullius Cicero, Pro Caelio [On Behalf of Caelius]

Thomas Wilfred Hillard (Macquarie University)
Download PDF Add to Bookshelf Report an Error

On April 4th, 56 BCE, Cicero delivered his defense of Marcus Caelius Rufus before an unusually large crowd in the Roman forum, and it was probably published soon afterwards. It was a sparkling performance, and the speech as it survives is considered one of Cicero’s finest. Quintilian, the celebrated rhetorician and teacher of rhetoric, writing around a century and a half later, cites the oration twenty-odd times in appreciation of its strategies, its figures of speech and its prose rhythms.

Caelius had been accused of some manner of crime against the property of a woman called Palla, causing a civil disturbance in Naples, assaulting ambassadors from Alexandria in Puteoli (Pozzuoli), the murder of the chief ambassador (the philosopher Dio), receiving gold under false pretenses to finance

4662 words

Citation: Hillard, Thomas Wilfred. "Pro Caelio". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 08 March 2008 [, accessed 05 March 2024.]

20494 Pro Caelio 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

Save this article

If you need to create a new bookshelf to save this article in, please make sure that you are logged in, then go to your 'Account' here

Leave Feedback

The Literary Encyclopedia is a living community of scholars. We welcome comments which will help us improve.